A St. Peters man was indicted on federal fraud charges last week in connection with an investment fraud scheme.
The indictment says Michael Kitchen, 47, of St. Peters, was involved in a fraud scheme during 2008 and 2009. According to the indictment, Kitchen marketed a "verification of funds" financial opportunity to a number of investors and made approximately $500,000. Kitchen is accused of telling investors their money was safe and would earn more than 1000 percent annual return if the money was placed in a verification of funds transaction.
The indictment alleges that Kitchen didn't protect or place the investors' funds. Instead, Kitchen is accused of spending the money on business and personal expenses over several years.
Kitchen was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 15 on three felony counts of wire fraud for devising this fraud scheme and two counts of money laundering for using its proceeds to purchase two automobiles. If convicted, each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up $250,000.
The money laundering counts carry maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. Restitution must be ordered for any victims.
Kitchen's case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI in cooperation for the Office of Securities Enforcement - Missouri Secretary of State's Office which is currently prosecuting a civil enforcement action against Kitchen. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.